Akhlaq Ahmed; The Pride of Pakistan

One of the most well-known singers of Pakistan, late Akhlaq Ahmed has given many hit melodies to Lollywood like “Sawan aye sawan jaye” and “Na sona Na Chandni”. Indeed he was one of the most respectable singers of the Pakistani Industry.

He was born in Delhi and started off his career as a stage singer in the 1960s in Karachi, where he was a member of a famous singing group with two other legendary artists, Masood Rana and Nadeem. With approximately 300 songs to his credit, his voice was highly renowned in the industry.

Akhlaq Ahmed

According to a recent interview conducted with his son, we get to know Akhlaq Ahmed’s story of his first recording. According to his son, the man had a very close friend who worked at the Pakistan International Airline, who had some close contacts and got him an audition. The first ever song sung by Akhlaq Ahmed was Sawan aye Sawan jaye composed by the famous Robin Ghosh. The song was a block buster and from here started the journey for this exceptionally artistic man.

His first ever film song was Raastey ka Patthar, a track from the movie with the same title. Akhlaq Ahmed won the Nigar Award for the best singer eight times (three times in a row), his unique voice was prodigious which could never go unnoticed by many Composers, hence the number of songs he has sung.

Strictly speaking, Akhlaq was an ordinary man and a very supportive father, though a little strict, as his son tells. He was a very devoted man and his ability to devote stanch attention to his job brought him hordes of success. He always sang with understanding and depth and cast his fans in an intricate spell that lasted even after the song ended. I could safely say that his voice was a flawless and beautiful creation of God.

Unfortunately, Akhlaq spent the last few years of his life fighting the terrible disease of blood cancer. His wife, an employee at PIA admitted him at a hospital in London. She was indeed a fearless and valiant lady who stood by her spouse, steadfast in even the hardest of times.

At the time of his demise, Akhlaq was 53 years old, his son was in his late teens by then. It was 4th of August, 1999 when this great voice of Pakistan was silenced.

At an interview with The Diplomat, Afaq Ahmed, Akhlaq’s son said few things about his father.

“He was very down to Earth, would always talk to his fans and never had a “star” attitude.”

Akhlaq Ahmed, not only adored our hearts with his heartwarming voice, but also taught us a lesson before leaving the world. When things get tough, you have to believe in yourself and hang in there, along with your loved ones because they are the ones who’d give you strength. Eventually things get better.

Today on his sixteenth death anniversary, we pay tribute to the prodigious voice and personality of this man. He may not be with us today physically, but he would always be cherished in all of our hearts. After all he is our nation’s pride.

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Nazia Hassan – Lawyer Turned Singer

There can possibly be nobody who would say he hasn’t heard ‘Aap Jaisa Koi’, ‘Disco Deewanay’, ‘Camera Camera’ and ‘Dosti’. Nazia Hasan, with her singing skills, elegance and cuteness; has achieved her dream of spreading melody. She started singing at the age of 15 and achieved milestones one after the other for the rest of her life (on the contrary, 15 year old girls these days are getting makeovers for upcoming Halloween parties). However, Nazia with her brother Zohaib Hasan has represented Pakistan on the international ground when nobody could have imagined doing so. The duo has proved that it only takes effort and courage to bring about change. Nazia’s ‘Aap Jaisa Koi’ was featured in a bollywood movie ‘Qurbani’, which still gets into remixes by a bundle of Indian singers. Duh! (Let’s just consider it as a tribute to her from them.)

Although, the trend of lawyers turning singers is old, obviously Nazia started it. You cannot blame Ali Noor, but Nazia was eclectic. It takes a lot of effort to study law, while you have an interest in music and you want to do social work too.

Rightly said in Punjabi, “EDI TU MULTITALENTED”

Her talent did not only stay put to singing but she acted in some of her videos too. Whether it be the pink frilly long gowned Nazia in “Ankhen Milaney Waley” or the brown blue jean-ed Nazia in “Disco Deewane”, she flaunted the best of her skills and performances in all her videos too.

She has won many awards including Pride of Performance, Double Platinum Award, Golden Disc Award and a Filmfare Award. Yes, the award Fawad Khan won last year, but she won it in a female playback singer’s category. She is the first, the only and the youngest to win the award by now. Kudos to the lady! She has definitely made a mark. For singers today, it is one of the biggest issues to release a single. While she has released 5 albums within a span of 15 years from 1980 to 1995 when back in nineties music was known to a few people. It is not just luck that makes you successful; it takes talent, hard work and effort.

I’d prefer not judging Hasan for her secret marriage because then I’ll have to judge her for keeping her cancer a secret too. A lady with elegance, talent and grace, a rare combination and a real treat to ears; what gives me or anybody else the right to peer into her personal life while she wanted to keep it to herself?

When she died, Pakistan lost one of its most precious assets. For those who can understand, it was the demise of Pop music culture in Pakistan for nobody can ever deny the fact that Nazia and Zohaib Hassan were the pioneers of Pop Music in Pakistan.

The nation hasn’t forgotten her and it never will. Always remembered, always cherished, Nazia lives in the nation’s hearts – today and always.